William J. Bennett, in "A Response to Milton Friedman," argues against the legalization of drugs, saying that such a policy would be a social, legal and moral "surrender" (52) to drugs and would do no good in reducing drug use or attendant criminal activity. The fallacy committed by Bennett in his argument against Friedman and against legalization of drugs is abusive ad hominem, or attacking one's opponent in a personal way to ignore or discredit Friedman's arguments. He uses such terms
as "liberal elites" (51), and "a small number of journalists and academics" (50), and says he has little "respect" (51) for the policy of "surrender" (52) advocated by Friedman.
Bennett insults his opponent to distract the reader from focusing on the legitimate arguments of Friedman. For example, he says that crime will not be reduced by legalizing drugs, although much criminal activity is directly associated with drug addicts trying to get money or property to use to buy illegal drugs.
Such activity would be obviously eliminated by legalizing drugs, but Bennett says Friedman's "unswerving commitment to a legalization solution prevents you from appreciating the complexity" (51) of the problem. He insults and belittles instead of accepting the intelligence of his foe and dealing respectfully with his foe's arguments. Bennett clearly believes that to take Friedman's arguments seriously, even if he had good counter-arguments, would give the legalization side added respect in the eyes of the public, which Bennett does not want. So he ridicules his "liberal elite" foe for his "surrender," and hopes the public will not listen to Friedman's reasonable arguments.
In "Paris Adult Theater I v. Slaton (1973)," Chief Justice Burger argues that the states have the right to "regulate the use of obscene materials" (79), as long as that regulation does not fly in the face of Constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms of speech and privacy. In making this ar...